2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (QuickPic)

CRA Motoring News – South Africa

By Charlen Raymond

Ford launches new Ranger Thunder in SA.

Thunder slots in between Ranger WildTrak and Ranger Raptor.

Thunder carries a premium of R33 400 over WildTrak.

The Ford Ranger is one of the best-selling vehicles in South Africa.

It is an exceptional value-for-money proposition, has the ride quality to match, and the comfort features to make it a must-consider. Also, the Ranger line-up comprises of several ‘special’ models, each coming with its own unique set of traits. These are the imposing Ranger WildTrak and the ultra-capable Ranger Raptor.

Now, however, Ford has pulled the curtain on another special Ranger, called the Thunder. Available with a sporty exterior and unique interior styling, the Thunder looks to add further value to the Ranger family.

Some WildTrak in the mix

One of the big questions regarding the Thunder is where it slots in in the Ranger line-up. In short, between the WildTrak and Raptor, and will be priced accordingly, too (see bottom of the article). But in the Thunder’s case, it adopts some of the WildTrak’s design traits and then some more to further differentiate it.

Perhaps the most prominent aspect of the Thunder is its grille. Ford revised the honeycomb-style unit and added red accents to the side’ nostrils’. This, undoubtedly, adds a menacing presence to the bakkie’s outlook. And if we’re honest, it adds a further sporty touch to the mix. Other Thunder details include black side mirrors, a 3D Thunder badge at the bottom of the front doors and tailgate, blackened 18-inch alloy wheels, and red inserts on the anti-roll bar, which Ford calls the sports hoop.

Inside the cabin, red stitching can be found on the black leather that covers the seats, dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever, and handbrake. Ranger fans will notice that the red replaces the orange stitching found in the WildTrak models. Ford also embroidered ‘Thunder’ onto the front seats.

Speaking on the Thunder’s arrival, Doreen Mashinini, general manager marketing at Ford SA, says: “As the winner of the 2020 International Pick-up Award, the locally assembled Ford Ranger is proudly one of South Africa’s most popular vehicles, and continues to set the benchmark for style, luxury and a vast array of technologies that enhance driving convenience as well as safety. We are delighted to add the exciting new limited-edition Ranger Thunder, which adds a sportier and even more exclusive dimension to what is already one of the bakkie segment’s front-runners.”

Ford Ranger Thunder
2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (QuickPic)

Engine and capabilities

The new Ranger Thunder will be powered by a choice of two diesel engines: the 3.2-litre five-cylinder unit and the newer bi-turbo 2.0-litre. The bi-turbo engine can be had in either 4×2 or 4×4, bringing the Thunder line-up to three models, only. In terms of power, the 3.2-litre turbo diesel engine produces 147kW/470Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to the rear wheels.

The bi-turbo mill is good for 157kW and 500Nm, with a 10-speed transmission sending power to the wheels. Ford says that the Thunder will continue with the impressive credentials the WildTrak family boasts with. These include a 230mm ground clearance, 800mm water wading depth, and a towing capacity of up to 3500kg (with a braked trailer).

Prospective buyers can expect average fuel consumption of around 8.2-litres/100km for the 3.2-litre engine, and 7.8 and 8.1, respectively, for the bi-turbo 4×2 and 4×4.

Ford Ranger Thunder
2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (QuickPic)

Safety remains key

Ford South Africa did not skimp on the safety front when it came to the Thunder and kitted the bakkie with several features. These include:

– Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB);

– Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC);

– Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid;

– Driver Alert System;

– Semi-automatic parallel Park Assist (SAPPA);

– EZ Lift tailgate.

These systems have been lifted from the WildTrak and will feature in the Thunder as standard. Their purpose is to enhance on-road safety and keep occupants safe. When sensing an impending incident, albeit a vehicle in front suddenly braking or veering out of your lane, the safety systems will kick in in a bid to secure one’s safety.

Ford Ranger Thunder
2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (QuickPic)

Ranger Thunder pricing

See Ranger Thunder pricing below, as well as pricing for the models the bakkie is based on.

– Ranger 3.2 Tdci Double Cab 3.2 Hi-Rider WildTrak 6AT 4×2 – R678 200

– Ranger 3.2 Tdci Double Cab 3.2 Thunder 6AT 4×2 – R711 600 (+R33 400)

– Ranger 2.0 Bi-T Double Cab Hi-Rider WildTrak 10AT 4×2 – R702 600

– Ranger 2.0 Bi-T Double Cab Thunder 10AT 4×2 – R736 000 (+R33 400)

– Ranger 2.0 Bi-T Double Cab WildTrak 10AT 4×4 – R753 600

– Ranger 2.0 Bi-T Double Cab Thunder 10AT 4×4 – R787 000 (+R33 400)

Ford Ranger Thunder
2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (QuickPic)

Ranger line-up enhanced

Ford also made use of the opportunity to enhance the rest of its Ranger family. XLT models and higher sees the introduction of LED headlamps that incorporate daytime running LED lamps, as well as LED front foglamps.

The Ranger XLS models see an upgrade to the infotainment system. Ford will replace the first-generation Ford SYNC with a Connected Touch Radio (CTR) system.

CTR is similar to Ford’s SYNC3 but does without embedded navigation and voice recognition. The system incorporates an eight-inch full-colour touchscreen and offers two USB slots and full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Though navigation is not standard, CTR allows users to use a paired phone’s navigation function, as well as text-to-speech.

CTR is available as an optional extra on Ranger XL models.

All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a four-year/120 000km comprehensive warranty, three-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance, and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A six-year/90 000km service plan is included, with 15 000km service intervals.

Ford Ranger Thunder
2020 Ford Ranger Thunder (QuickPic)

Article Credit To Wheels 24.